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VEN Review

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  • VEN Review

    The Phantom of Venice: released in July 2008

    Based on the Book: The Phantom of Venice (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories #78, published in 1985)

    How Closely Does the Game Follow the Book?: Not that closely. They both take place in Venice, they both involve a "phantom," and they both involve art. Those are pretty much the only similarities, though.

    Location: Venice, Italy

    The Mystery/Crime: Art theft

    Mode Of Transportation: Subway/bus, gondola, walking

    Is there an alarm clock in this game?: No, but Nancy can/does sleep

    What is learned about in this game?: The history and culture of Venice; the Italian language

    Brief Plot Synopsis: Nancy, at the suggestion of Prudence Rutherford, works with the Italian authorities to investigate a string of art thefts in Venice that are often accompanied by sightings of someone wearing a costume that has been nicknamed "The Phantom."

    Brief Character Synopsis:

    Colin Baxter - A British art restorer who works at the hotel where Nancy is staying
    Actor I would cast to play him if it were a live-action movie or TV show: Nicholas Hoult

    Helena Berg - An Austrian journalist who is Nancy roommate at the hotel
    Actress I would cast to play her if it were a live-action movie or TV show: Franka Potente (I know she's German and not Austrian, but I don't care)

    Margherita Fauberg - a wealthy widow who owns the hotel where Nancy is staying
    Actress I would cast to play her if it were a live-action movie or TV show: Sophia Loren

    Phone Characters:

    Joe Hardy - Nancy's friend

    Ned Nickerson - Nancy's boyfriend

    Prudence Rutherford - wealthy socialite who hired (or at least suggested) Nancy to work on the case

    Sophia Leporace - An Italian police officer who is Nancy's contact

    Other characters:

    Antonio Fango - a possible suspect in the art theft ring whose office is across from Nancy's hotel and who Nancy is assigned to keep an eye on

    Enrico Tazza - a possible suspect in the art theft ring who Nancy (while undercover) needs to speak with and play a card game with during her investigation

    Various people in town (the gondoliers, the guy who works at the dance club, etc.)

    My favorite quote:

    "You don't want to know where the cheapest cafes are? Are you sure you're American?" - Helena Berg

    My Thoughts: This is one of my favorite games. I love that Nancy is working for the Italian authorities on an official investigation. It makes the story line and the mystery so cohesive and progress so smoothly, and all the "spying" activities are so fun.

    I really liked Scopa a lot. It's one of my favorite things to do in any of the Nancy Drew games. I quite often play it on the website in the mini games section as well. I also liked getting around the sentries to retrieve the sapphire. I liked learning about the history and culture of Venice. I also liked playing dress up, though I wish the items were cheaper so I could change outfits more often.

    There are only two things I disliked about this game. The first is that there were only three suspect characters (I like there to be at least four) and there is not very much interaction with them. The other thing is the tunnel puzzle, because it is way too difficult for me. The rest of the puzzles are logical and there are hints enough to solve them, but the tunnel puzzle makes no sense to me and I don't even try to solve it on my own.

    Over all, this game is very fun, has a great plot, and I enjoy playing it every time.

    My random comment: One time I forgot to take the costume off and they wouldn't let me into the game house because I was dressed too much like an American. Oh yes, we Americans are always wearing skin-tight full-body catsuits in the middle of the day.

    My Rating: 9/10